Thursday, January 05, 2017

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 235,000

by Bill McBride on 1/05/2017 08:33:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending December 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 235,000, a decrease of 28,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 2,000 from 265,000 to 263,000. The 4-week moving average was 256,750, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 500 from 263,000 to 262,500.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 96 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970.
emphasis added
The previous week was revised down.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.


The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 256,750.

This was well below the consensus forecast (it is difficult to seasonally adjusted during the holidays). The low level of claims suggests relatively few layoffs.